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On computer games for city planning

There’s another article on a very popular computer game that allows people to play city planner or mayor. I recall playing the game for the first time in the early 1990s. A friend got hold of a bootleg copy of the first version and we soon found ourselves addicted to the game. 🙂

Roy, J. (2019) From video game to day job: How ‘SimCity’ inspired a generation of city planners, Los Angeles Times, https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-simcity-inspired-urban-planners-20190305-story.html [Last accessed: 03/13/2019]

Of course, later on we tried experimenting on some concepts to see how the game will go for themes such as transit oriented development (TOD) and combinations of land uses. This allowed us to have an appreciation of how a city will grow and how networks perform given various scenarios. I still believe the game has a lot of value not just from the gaming perspective but also from an academic or practical view. City planning (and not just the transportation or traffic aspect) is a very complicated matter and requires a lot of know-how, wisdom and logic (also others) for a city to function well and for it to grow. Perhaps the newer versions of the game will be even more “realistic” and help develop future planners and administrators.

Simulating cities?

I found this nice article about some of the most popular simulation games; especially SimCity:

Baker, K.T. (201 ) Model Metropolis, Logic, https://logicmag.io/06-model-metropolis/?mbid=nl_021119_transportation_list_p [Last accessed: 2/13/2019]

While there are still those who dismiss these as merely games, they fail to appreciate the really complex algorithms and processes that could now mimic real world situations. That includes governance of cities that is a very important factor to its development. Land use planning or transport planning alone cannot provide the solutions for a city’s problems associated with, among others, its growth. The success reflects on the administration and leadership that should be able to anticipate and respond to issues while consolidating and rationalising resources, which are often limited.